We drove through the beautiful Donegal countryside, under showery skies and climbed higher and higher until the lush hedgerows gave way to granite, ferns and blanket bog and we entered the 16500 hectares of Glenveagh National park.
The castle was built in the 1930s by John George Adair who made his fortune in America. He wanted an estate to rival that of the Royal family at Balmoral, and found the land and lough beautiful and suitable for the country pursuits of hunting, fishing and partying. Unfortunately he found the local people less than picturesque so had 244 tenants evicted, which did not endear him to the population. Oh no.
The castle has gorgeous gardens (even in the rain) with interesting planting, especially in the walled garden and orangeries.
I had a flight of fancy here, imagining myself rosy cheeked tending the vegetables and flowers and then cooking delicious meals and serving them to a handsome curly haired family on a scrubbed table in the cottage with a cosy peat fire to keep us warm and dry. Then I remembered that I don’t really know anything about gardening and the needle scratched to the end of the record sharpish. Oh well…
How rich and varied the hedgerows and verges are here. The fields are still smallish and there are a lot more hedges than where I live in Worcestershire. The variety of trees, shrubs and plants were a feast for the eyes (and presumably for wildlife too).
Here is another view of another Loch and Donegal hills. My watercolour skills are starting to improve. Is this getting boring yet? I’ve got more….